CWA enhances weather forecasting skills
New weather monitoring stations and radar systems are supposed to help enhance storm forecasts to help people prepare and government officials make decisions
By Shelley Chan/Staff Reporter
The Central Weather Service (CWA) aims to reduce the margin of error in five-day hurricane forecasts and expand its forecasts to include the earliest arrival time of a hurricane’s storm surge and wind forecasts in coastal areas.
The agency is modernizing its facilities to enhance its ability to forecast the weather, including building 25 weather monitoring stations in coastal areas last year, installing an automatic satellite system to detect weather changes, upgrading the radar system at seven meteorological stations to dual-polarization radar networks and establishing five networks. High-frequency radar monitoring for marine weather monitoring.
The agency’s new monitoring stations in Hulong Town, Miaoli County (後龍) and Guqing Town, Yunlin County (古坑) are scheduled to begin operations in June and September, respectively, said CWA Director Cheng Qiaping (程家平).
“With the completion of the two new observation stations, every city and county in Taiwan will have one manned observation station,” he said.
Two new radar systems are scheduled to be installed in Yilan County and Yunlin County to collect rainfall data in Tainan, as well as Yunlin, Chiayi and Yilan counties.
“We are improving our typhoon forecasts by reducing the margin of error in the forecast tracks of typhoons from 321 km to 267 km. At the same time, the typhoon forecast will also include the earliest time the typhoon’s storm circle reaches Taiwan and wind forecasts in coastal areas,” Cheng said. More accurate information would help people prepare in advance and help local government officials make decisions.
Cleaning up road debris
In other news, starting Monday next week, a clean-up fee will be imposed on motorists who fail to securely attach their loads, resulting in spills or leaks that leave debris on road lanes, shoulders or embankments.
Currently, motorists are charged fees if a wreck disrupts traffic on the highway. A fine of NT$3,000 (US$95) is imposed for traffic disruptions on a single highway lane for less than 30 minutes. The penalty rises to NT$6,000 if the disruption lasts between 30 and 60 minutes; NT$9,000 if it lasts between 1 hour and less than 90 minutes; and NT$12,000 if it lasts between 90 minutes and two hours.
“We remove road debris by temporarily moving it from lanes to shoulders or embankments so that traffic can continue. However, cleaning up debris left on shoulders also takes time and can also disrupt traffic. As such, drivers should Vehicles have to pay for removing debris on the shoulders and should bear the same fee for leaving debris on the highway lanes,” said Chow Hsien Hua, director-general of the Highways Bureau.
Meanwhile, the bureau reported collecting record high highway tolls of NT$25.5 billion last year as travel increased after the COVID-19 pandemic subsided, longer weekends and increased vehicle ownership, Zhao said.
Separately, the National Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday approved draft administration rules governing the use of designated telecommunications telephone numbers in a bid to prevent misuse of telephone numbers by fraudsters to commit fraud.
NCC Vice Chairman Wong Po Cong (翁柏宗) said applicants for phone numbers may not be real users because scammers use fake IDs to apply for phone numbers.
The rules will require mobile network operators (MNOs) and mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) to fulfill their obligations, and there will be no collective penalties, Wong said.
Carriers and mobile network operators must ensure that phone number applicants provide personal identifiers, Wong said, adding that they must also safeguard user data and implement risk management measures.
The rules will also require all MVNOs to register as telecommunications service providers in accordance with the Communications Administration Act (電信管理法), Wong said.
At the same time, he said online retail sales platforms should require telecom service sellers to clearly indicate that they are legitimate telecom retailers and provide proof of this.
MNOs and MVNOs that violate the rules will be fined between NT$100,000 and NT$1 million based on Article 78 of the Communications Administration Act, Wong said.
He added that telecom companies will be given a one-year grace period after the rules come into effect, possibly in April.
He said: “During the grace period, telecom companies must ensure that corporate users provide the required information, especially high-risk corporate customers who have been ordered by judicial bodies to suspend services.”
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